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Hunter Johnson

Bringing the World to Minnesota and Minnesota to the World

Hunter Johnson (MHR ’20) is producing a documentary on the role of the press in combating enforced disappearances and impunity in Mexico. “Since 2006, over 40,000 people have disappeared in Mexico. This film illustrates how exceptional reporters work with victims’ families to demand state accountability in the search for their loved ones, helping to put an end to this ongoing human-rights crisis.” Johnson received the Dunn Peace Research Scholarship to investigate and film this project in Mexico.
Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson

Hunter Johnson (MHR ‘20) is producing a documentary on the role of the press in combating enforced disappearances and impunity in Mexico. “Since 2006, over 40,000 people have disappeared in Mexico. This film illustrates how exceptional reporters work with victims' families to demand state accountability in the search for their loved ones, helping to put an end to this ongoing human rights crisis.” Hunter received the Dunn Peace Research Scholarship to investigate and film this project in Mexico.
Flag of Sudan, a horizontal tricolor of red, white, and black stripes with a green triangle based at the hoist.

Student Voice: Bloodshed and Injustice in Sudan

Following the fall of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan and installment of a Transitional Military Council (TMC), negotiations of transitioning power to a civilian-led government recently soured, leading the TMC to open fire on pro-democracy demonstrators. With the death toll rising and with additional crackdowns on demonstrators, concerns about human rights and the risks to securing a peaceful transition to democratic rule are heightened.
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Emerging Human Rights Advocates Take Their Next Steps

Rising U of MN Senior Tony Burton and rising U of MN Junior Tala Alfoqaha have been selected as the 2019 Fraser Fellows. Tony, a Political Science Major and Tala, double majoring in Mathematics and Global Studies will intern at ECPAT-USA and The Advocates for Human Rights, respectively. This will offer the undergraduate students hands-on opportunities to practice human rights research and advocacy alongside human rights professionals.
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Three Incredible Human Rights Students, Three Well-Deserved Awards

Kate Denney, Brittany Becker, and Anishaa Kamesh are this year's winners of the Inna Meiman and Sullivan Ballou Undergraduate Human Rights Awards. These three women demonstrate admirable dedication to human rights causes, and engage in important service to their local, national, and international communities. With interests spanning from immigrant rights to homelessness to human trafficking, these three awardees are already on paths to have a hugely positive impact on the world.
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A Sociological Human Rights Perspective

Brooke Chambers, a third year Sociology PhD student, studies some of the most difficult questions facing human rights scholars--how to understand and respond to the multi-generational effects of instances of mass violence. With a particular focus on the Rwandan genocide, Brooke is using her education to seek a better understanding of how genocidal violence reverberates throughout space and time, along with how Rwandan society remembers and commemorates the Genocide. Next semester she will conduct field research in Rwanda, interviewing young adults about their experiences growing up in a post-genocide society.
A woman with long grey hair wearing a ponytail, glasses, and a light blue cardigan stands in front of a cement column and building

Effecting Tangible Change at the United Nations

It is exceedingly difficult and rare to influence the immediate action recommendations that the CEDAW Committee includes in its report to member state countries. However, Professor Greta Friedemann-Sánchez and her research team successfully did just that. Their Human Rights Initiative project “Family Commissioners: Fostering Justice, Security and Peace in Colombian Families in the Post-Conflict Era (COLPAZ)” influenced not just one but two of the recommendations that CEDAW provided to Colombia regarding improving their treatment and services for victims of domestic violence.
Hands clasped together

Called to Action, Making Change

Since graduating from the University of Minnesota, Sarah Super has been unstoppable in raising awareness around sexual violence and advocating for survivors. Read more about the work she is doing, including her diligent efforts to raise funds for a Memorial for Survivors of Sexual Violence. Please consider making a donation to make this project possible.
Decaying tree trunks sit on a dusty landscape with a brown and orange sky

Student Op-Ed: Complacency and Climate Change Denial Lead to Lives Lost

As the United Nations and its member states gear up for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, a meeting where stakeholders will make pledges around implementing the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, individuals should also consider their impact on climate change. Outright denial, or more commonly, compliance towards climate change-related issues is likely to have significant and devastating impacts on the world's most vulnerable populations. Read why Global Studies undergraduate student Mahad Omar believes it is incumbent on us all, individuals and nations states alike, to combat climate change.
An empty courtroom that includes black chairs for the jury and lawyers, wood accents, white curtains over big windows, and the judge's seat

Words Matter: How Rhetoric in Griswold v. Driscoll Shapes Our Understanding of...

The way the public comes to understand instances of genocide and mass violence is complex and mediated through a variety of voices. Public officials, textbook representations, official court records, and survivor or perpetrator testimony can all contribute to representations mass violence. Claims of genocide denial can also be furthered through similar means. Sociology Professor Joachim Savelsberg and Law Professor Fionnuala Ni Aoláin's HRI-funded research project, "Mnemonic Struggles Over the Gravest Human Rights Violations: The Armenian Genocide in Griswold v. Driscoll and Beyond," investigates how court proceedings and the debates that unfold during them can further or stifle claims of genocide.
Brown books on a shelf that say "Law Cases"

Alumna Used Academic Experiences to Discover Passion and Pursue Civil Rights Work

Kaela McConnon is a licensed attorney who started her academic journey at the U of M. Her classes and study abroad experience influenced the career path she took. Now, Kaela is working with civil rights in Minneapolis and also volunteers doing pro bono work to support those who cannot afford or would not otherwise have access to a lawyer. Read more about Kaela's path to civil and human rights work.
3 women and 1 man stand in a line behind another woman and man smiling. One woman in the back row holds up a sign that reads "Minnesota."

Interdisciplinary Minnesota Delegation Lobbies Congress to Promote Immigrant Rights

As journalists and activists continue reporting on the human rights violations happening in immigration detention, Human Rights and Immigrant Rights organizations and advocates mobilize to lobby their Congressional leaders to vote against additional appropriations for immigrant detention facilities. Among them are a group of Minnesota students, including three Master of Human Rights students. The team recently attended the FCNL Lobby Weekend in Washington D.C. and were given extensive training on how to lobby Congressional leaders on issues related to immigration and refugee rights. They also were able to practice their new skills by lobbying four of Minnesota's Congresswomen to vote against increased funding for immigration detention, among other issues.
Blue, gold and white logo with text Human Rights Program and Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies presenting Human Rights Awards

Call for Nominations - 2019 Undergraduate Human Rights Awards- DEADLINE EXTENDED

Each spring, the Human Rights Program and the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies celebrates the tremendous work of University of Minnesota - Twin Cities undergraduate students in human rights by presenting the Inna Meiman Human Rights Award and the Sullivan Ballou Award. Each award comes with a $1000 scholarship to the student and recognition at an awards event in late April.
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Call for Applications - 2019 Fraser Human Rights Fellowships

Call for Applications - The Fraser Human Rights Fellowship offers two undergraduate students interested in human rights work the opportunity to work at one of two human rights organizations during the summer, The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis or ECPAT-USA in New York. These positions will provide the fellows with hands on human rights experience at internationally-renowned organizations. Students will also receive financial support to help finance their fellowship experiences.
A blank spiral notebook and back pen sit on a light wooden desk

Student Op-Ed: Backlash in Response to Ilhan Omar Exposes the Disturbing Truth of...

After Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted a message criticizing Israel and Israel-supporting lobbyist organizations, she faced swift backlash. Critics argued that Ms. Omar's words were rooted in antisemitism, and calls for both apologies and resignation followed. Ms. Omar's supporters argued that the backlash was unfounded and simply targeted her because she is Muslim. Undergraduate Global Studies and Human Rights and Justice student Mahad Omar lends his perspective to the debate, suggesting that criticism of Ms. Omar is unfounded and distracts from the state-sanctioned crimes committed by the Israeli government.
Nine adults, seven women and two men, pose in front of glass doors with a sign reading "Human Rights Watch" on them

How Americans Understand Human Rights in a Populist Moment

How should human rights practitioners respond to anti-human rights rhetoric that has become widespread with increased right wing populism? What do Americans across the ideological spectrum think about human rights, and what influences these views? These are only some of the questions that Political Science professor Howard Lavine's research project, "Re-Tooling US Based Human Rights Work for the Populist Era" seeks to answer. Funded by a Human Rights Initiative Research Grant and supported by Human Rights Watch and the Center for Victims of Torture, the project has also given a number of students, including Master of Human Rights students, opportunities to apply human rights theory and writing skills to these very important questions.

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